When starting a new business, it’s understandable that money may be short and unnecessary expenses may need to be cut. Some may wonder if consulting with a business lawyer is a worthwhile business expense. Of course, during the company start-up, many of the issues can be handled within the business, but as the business begins to grow and flourish, it may be wise to consult with an attorney. This is especially important when dealing with complex situations or liability issues. At times like this, hiring an attorney to advise the business is usually considered to be “money well spent.”
A business start-up usually consists of much paperwork that can be handled in-house. The first step is determining a unique business name and filing a legal structure for the business, such as an incorporation, a sole proprietor, a partnership, a limited liability, or even a non-profit. Requesting a tax ID and EIN numbers for tax purposes are fairly simple. They both are just a matter of filling out the paperwork and submitting to the IRS. When hiring employees, it’s important to understand and follow the anti-discrimination laws that are in effect. If a person is not certain of the rules, consulting with an attorney can help make them clear.
Of course, in business, it’s not always easy sailing. Problems arise and many times it seems as if there are more problematic days than good days. For certain issues, a business will want to consult with an attorney, as the issues may be too complex to handle on their own without legal representation. One of the biggest issues with a company and employees, both prior and current, is discrimination. When an employee is let go, it must be made clear that the release is not based on the color of the employee’s skin, their gender, age or any other issue aside from work performance. Additionally, IRS demand letters may require the input from an attorney to ensure taxes were paid in a timely manner or to address why they were not.
As most business owners will agree, it’s not necessary to have an attorney on speed dial every day in the business world, but it’s certainly helpful to have one to call when the need arises.